The Red-winged Tinamou
, Rhynchotus rufescens
is a medium-sized ground-living bird from southern Brazil
and northern Argentina
The Red-winged Tinamou has three subspecies
- Nominate race Rhynchotus rufescens rufescens occurs from far southern Peru, through northern Bolivia east to north-east Brazil and south to Uruguay
- Rhynchotus rufescens catingae occurs in central Brazil
- Rhynchotus rufescens pallescens occurs in northern Argentina
Previously, the taxon maculicollis was considered a subspecies of the Red-winged Tinamou, but following SACC it is now considered a species in its own right; the Huayco Tinamou.
The Red-winged Tinamou is approximately 40 cm (16 in) in length. Its upperparts are brown barred with black and buff. The crown is mottled black, the throat is whitish, the foreneck and breast are cinnamon, and the remainder of the underparts are grey-brown barred with black on the belly and flanks. The curved bill is horn-coloured with a blackish culmen. Its common name
refers to the bright rufous primaries
, which mainly are visible in flight. Juveniles are duller.
Habitat & Behavior
It favours marshy grasslands and savanna
. Its diet varies by season; it taking insects
and other small animals (even small mammals
) in the summer, and switching to vegetable matter, such as fruits, shoots, tubers and bulbs, in the winter. It can be an agricultural pest
, feeding on cereals, rice and peanuts, as well as being predatory, taking poisonous snakes and even jumping up into the air to snatch an insect off a leaf.
Like all tinamous, the Red-winged Tinamou is a popular target for hunters, and in areas of high human population density number have declined, but the species has also increased in some areas where forest clearance has created favourable habitat. Overall, it is not considered threatened and is therefore listed as Least Concern
by BirdLife International
- del Hoyo,J., Elliot, A., Sargatal, J., eds (1992) Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume One Ostritch to Ducks, ISBN 84-87334-10-5